As Americans celebrated this nation’s birthday on July 4, most were likely unaware of a less uplifting commemoration that fell on the calendar during the same holiday weekend. That was Cost of Government Day, or July 6, 2014. The date’s significance is one of political math and symbolism. By the time 2014 ends, local, state and federal governments will have consumed the equivalent of every dime of national production created between New Year’s Day and July 6. The money goes to government spending and regulatory compliance. Americans have only from Monday until year’s end to produce anything for themselves.
The concept of CGD is similar to that of Tax Freedom Day, which fell on April 21 in 2014 and which is defined as the date by which the average American family has earned enough to pay its annual tax bill. But CGD takes GDP as its denominator instead of income, so it falls later in the year because it accounts for both deficit spending and regulatory compliance burdens.
According to the Cost of Government Center(which is part of Americans for Tax Reform), it took the U.S. economy 121 days – roughly the first four months of the year – to produce enough for government to spend at all levels (81 days for federal and 40 days for state and local spending). It took an additional 65 days to produce the resources required to pay for the costs of regulatory compliance at all levels.